New Delhi, July 11: Maharashtra has become the first state in India to have introduced contraception through intramuscular injections for women. On World Population Day, the state public health department of Maharashtra procured nearly 33,000 doses of contraceptive injections for women. The new method of contraceptive injections called Medroxyprogesterone Acetate (MPA) will add to the contraception options such as pills, tubectomy etc. The contraceptive injections will put off pregnancy for three months and will allow impregnation seven months after the injection is stopped. According to the reports, the contraceptive injections will be given to the women in the age bracket of 18-45 years.The side effects of this injection include minimal bleeding, irregular menstrual cycle, and

The side effects of this injection include minimal bleeding, irregular menstrual cycle, and amenoerrhea (absence of menstruation). The initiative has been taken under Antara, a national programme. The programme has been covering Pune, Mumbai, Raigad, Nandurbar, Ahmednagar, Aurangabad, Kolhapur, Sangli, Ratnagiri, and Beed. According to the reports, Antara will be launched in 23 district hospitals, 20 medical colleges, and 12 women’s hospitals. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) alone has procured 10,000 contraceptive injections for its maternity homes and civic hospitals. As per the reports, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has chosen four states for the launch of the injections.

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“If spacing programme is properly implemented, 30 percent of maternal deaths and 10 percent child deaths can be prevented in the state. We need to create awareness on keeping a gap between two children for a healthy mother,” said Archana Patil, Maharashtra’s joint director for family planning who has already implemented contraception through MPA, reported Indian Express.

“A lot of focus is now required on spacing methods in family planning. This contraceptive will add to existing basket of choices for women,” said Union Health Secretary C K Mishra. The ministry also said that initiatives to counsel men for male sterilisation. “The problem of male ego deters many from undergoing vasectomy procedure. Health workers must raise awareness,” said Health Minister Deepak Sawant.

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In other reports, calling family planning a global priority, philanthropist Melinda Gates said that contraceptives are “one of the greatest anti-poverty innovations the world has ever known”. “Contraceptives empower women. And empowered women … well, they transform societies. If empowering women is more than just rhetoric for the president, he will prove it by funding family planning,” she said adding, “My family, my career, and my life are the direct result of having access to contraceptives but a number of women around the world get pregnant too young, too old and too often.”

“In Malawi, everyone I met told me they knew a woman who had died in pregnancy. In India, I sat in a circle of women and asked if anyone had lost a child. Every single woman raised her hand,” she said.